Jul 03, 2016 News
A team headed by Minister with responsibility for the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Valerie Patterson, on Tuesday and Wednesday visited neighbouring Suriname, where they were given a first hand look at a housing project in that country.
Minister Patterson was accompanied by CH&PA Board Member, Mark Jacobs; Chief Planner Rawle Edinboro; Pilot Coordinator of the Guyana Wastewater Revolving Fund, Marlon Daniels, who is also a Water and Sanitation Specialist; and building consultant, Klensil Grenville.
This recent visit was a follow up to a proposal, which has been submitted to the Government of Guyana by (CDIG) Zhong Da International Engineering Company (Suriname) for a housing project in Guyana.
According to Minister Patterson, the proposal is for the construction of low and middle income homes, complete with water and sanitation systems.
During the visit, Minister Patterson said that the team toured two locations where 550 homes were constructed by the company, in collaboration with the Suriname Government.
“We were impressed with the quality of the homes, quality of materials that were used, soil preparation that was done, and the overall construction methodology,” Minister Patterson reported.
However, in an effort to ensure that the same high quality work is brought to the local populace, the CH&PA said it will ensure that Quality Assurance Personnel are involved throughout every phase of this project.
She noted that while the homes in Suriname are all flat houses with no elevation off the ground, given Guyana’s unique topography it has been recommended that the houses to be constructed locally be elevated at least three feet off the ground. Notably, the company’s engineers were very receptive to the suggestion and have since indicated their willingness to comply.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, has since been briefed on the trip, and has given his approval for what has been submitted by the CH&PA.
With a Draft Framework Agreement for the commencement of the project, the Perseverance Phases Three and Four Scheme have been identified as the most suitable scheme for this initiative.
The Perseverance Scheme is the site where the Government’s Turnkey home Project is ongoing. To date, a total of 59 homes have been completed, with another 141 under construction.
Initially, that project was touted as the ‘Perseverance 1000 homes’ Project. Hhowever another eight hundred homes are to be still constructed.
Meanwhile, the Minister in her discussion with the General Manager of the Chinese company, Wu Qiong, raised the issue of employment for Guyanese at every level of this project. “Remarkably, the company has assured that more than fifty percent of the workforce for the project will be Guyanese. In addition, the company will be offering training for locals once the project has started.”
A high level team from the company is expected in Guyana on Tuesday to follow up on the discussion and to conduct a tour of the proposed site for the homes to be constructed.
Zhong Da International Engineering Company (Suriname) N.V was founded and registered in March 2000 and it constitutes the solely-funded enterprise of China Dalian International Cooperation Group, (CDIG).
However, the parent company CDIG has been in Suriname for over 17 years and its business covers, road construction, bridges, industrial and civil engineering.
Zhong Da started its housing project in Suriname.
“To date the company has completed 550, over a period of 40 months in two government housing settlement,” the ministry said.
The 1,000 homes project ran into trouble after inspections by the new administration last year found numerous defects. Government was forced to hire a contractor to repair the faults.
An investigation is ongoing on the project.
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